Nelson Mandela, the revered South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday at home. He was 95.
"He is now resting," said South African President Jacob Zuma. "He is now at peace."
"Our nation as lost his greatest son," he continued. "Our people have lost their father."
A state funeral will be held, and Zuma called for mourners to conduct themselves with "the dignity and respect" that Mandela personified.
"Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society… in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed ed by another," he said.
Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.
He inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.